Tougher penalties could be introduced for terrifying ‘monkey dust’ drug as ministers ask advisers to look at whether the psychoactive should be made a Class A substance
- ‘Monkey dust’ drug can make users paranoid and impervious to pain
- There has been a spate of crimes linked with the drug in north Staffordshire
Tougher penalties could be introduced for a terrifying psychoactive drug known as ‘monkey dust’.
Home Office ministers have asked official advisers to look at whether the Class B drug should be moved to the higher Class A.
Synthetic cathinones, also known as MDPV or ‘monkey dust’, can cause euphoria similar to amphetamines but can also lead to hallucinations.
The drug can also make users paranoid and impervious to pain while feeling they have super-human strength – leading them to injure themselves while running from imaginary threats.
The drug can also make users’ sweat smell like prawns.
Home Office ministers have asked official advisers to look at whether the Class B drug should be moved to the higher Class A (File photo)
There has been a spate of crimes linked with monkey dust in Stoke-on-Trent and other parts of north Staffordshire.
Last year a knifeman went on the rampage in the county while high on the drug, committing a series of robberies and attempted car-jackings, injuring six police officers.
Also last year, a 34-year-old Staffordshire woman repeatedly stabbed a cancer victim in his own home while she was high on monkey dust.
In 2019, a Merseyside man high on the drug was jailed after stabbing a police dog twice in the head.
The Home Office will today ask the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), a panel of scientists and doctors, to look at upping the classification of cathinones.
The drug can also make users paranoid and impervious to pain while feeling they have super-human strength – leading them to injure themselves while running from imaginary threats (File photo)
Police minister Chris Philp said: ‘These synthetic drugs ruin lives, families and neighbourhoods.
‘Made in labs and pumped into our communities, our drug laws must keep pace with their evolution.
‘We are tackling the supply and demand for illegal substances to reduce addiction and its effects, including driving down crime and antisocial behaviour.
‘I look forward to receiving the ACMD’s advice on combating synthetic cathinones in Staffordshire and across the UK.’
The ACMD will make a recommendation after a full review which could see the law changed.
Class B drugs carry up to five years’ imprisonment for possession and up to 14 years’ for supply or production. For Class A drugs the penalties increase to seven years’ for possession and life for supply or production.